Close this search box.

Liver-Colored Shih Tzu – How to Easily Recognize It?

Enter your email below to get the FREE "7 Day Happy Dog Challenge" eBook

Table of Contents

According to the American Kennel Club, Liver, or color code S 123, is a gorgeous color you can find in the Shih Tzu breed. Similar to Blue Shih Tzu, the Liver colored Shih Tzu is based on skin pigmentation. Liver is not an official color, but a skin pigmentation.

The skin points like eye rims, nose, lips, and paw pads, are liver color. Speaking of the liver color, it is a type of brown that ranges in hue from a light brown with a shiny pink overlay to a deep dark chocolate brown.

Some breeders may refer to the dark liver color as chocolate. But chocolate is not an official color in the Shih Tzu dog breed.

How Do You Identify a Liver Line In Shih Tzu?

liver colored shih tzu3

Now let’s talk about how you can identify a liver-colored Shih Tzu. This might be challenging, as it requires a good understanding of the genetics and color variations of the breed.

The liver line refers to a specific coat pattern. In Shih Tzu dogs, the liver color is a dark brown, and it may appear on patches or spots on the coat.

To identify the line, you need to closely examine the dog’s cat for areas of dark brown coloration. Contrary to what people think, a liver Shih Tzu is not a separate breed or a recognized coat color by the American Kennel Club.

A Liver Shih Tzu refers to the pigmentation of the nose, eye rims, lips, and paw pads that can range from a light tan to a dark brown hue.

Acceptable Shih Tzu Colors

liver colored shih tzu2

According to the American Kennel Club, these are the acceptable Shih Tzu colors.

  • Black is considered one of the rarest, especially a pure-black Shih Tzu. Most Black Shih Tzus have some white fur on them as well
  • Gray Shih Tzu is another acceptable option, with some people also believing there is a Blue Shih Tzu, which is a color dilatation of the gene
  • Brindle Shih Tzu is a subtle tiger-stripe-like coat color, consisting of streaks of multiple colors that are darker than the base coat of your Shih Tzu puppy
  • Gold Shih Tzu is a rare coat color, manifesting itself in vivid and gleaming forms before developing a subtle shade. Sadly, Gold Shih Tzus will have their color fade away with age
  • Red Shih Tzu tends to change color as it ages
  • Silver Shih Tzu is one of the most common, and it comes with a variety of markings

The same applies to the Tan Shih Tzu

  • Brown Shih Tzu can vary in depth and tone of the color

What Is The Liver Color Of Shih Tzu?

When people refer to the Liver colored Shih Tzu, they might not talk about an official coat color. The color brown might not come to mind when you think of liver, but that is true.

Liver Shih Tzu is actually a brown Shih Tzu that has diluted genetics. Or, they might have multiple coat colors.

Liver, or brown tone, refers to the skin pigmentation, not the coat color itself. Liver appears on the pads of the paws, eye rims, and nose. In the case of a Liver Shih Tzu, the nose is brown, not black as it usually is.

The easiest way to distinguish a liver Shih Tzu is to look at its nose.

Are Liver Shih Tzu Rare?

liver colored shih tzu

Yes, liver Shih Tzu dogs are quite rare, but not as rare as some other coat color options. For example, a solid black Shih Tzu is considered the rarest option. Or a liver Shih Tzu with an entirely brown coat.

Many different options are rare, but liver is certainly one of the rare options for coat coloring in the Shih Tzu breed.

Are Liver and Lavender The Same?

Similar to liver or chocolate, Lavender Shih Tzu is not an officially recognized coat color. It is often used in the Shih Tzu community. Now, this is not a purple Shih Tzu. That would be cool, right?

Instead, it is the presence of a diluted gene variation similar to liver. The gene affects the melanin in the skin, creating a purple hue. It is a variation of liver, with a more silvery tone.

Fun Facts About Liver Shih Tzus

Here are some fun Shih Tzu facts, namely about their coat color options.

  • Liver is an accepted coat color of the Shih Tzu breed by the American Kennel Club. It is standard, not alternate, and it carries the code S 123
  • If the skin points like the nose, eye rims, lips, and paw pads are liver, the dog is liver-colored, no matter the coat color
  • In most cases, the coat of a liver Shih Tzu is brown or cold, ranging from light cream to deep dark chocolate
  • Often, inexperienced breeders register their Shih Tzu pup incorrectly. If they have a white coat with a liver nose, that is a liver Shih Tzu
  • A Shih Tzu puppy might carry liver genetics, but not show it
  • Liver is also a color found in English Springer Spaniels, Dalmatians, and Cocker Spaniels
  • Liver is a recessive gene to black, so to get the puppy, either both parents are liver, one parent is liver and the other carries the gene, or both parents are carriers
  • When both parents carry the gene, the litter may consist of black and liver puppies

How To Easily Make a Distinction Between a Liver and Non-Liver Shih Tzu?

As we mentioned before, the best way to identify a liver Shih Tzu is to look at its nose. A non-liver Shih Tzu might have liver-type colors in the coat, but the nose will be black. That is not a liver Shih Tzu.

A Liver Shih Tzu will always have liver colors on the nose. It is as simple as that.

You Might Also Like:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *